The Antonov state enterprise has completed joint state testing of the An-70, a medium, wide-body military transport aircraft with short takeoff and landing, the press service of the state enterprise has announced.

During ground and flight tests, it was established that the upgraded aircraft meets the requirements that were set during its design. In particular, the functioning of the aircraft’s upgraded systems and equipment were checked and the characteristics of its short takeoff/landing, its precision during performance of navigational tasks, its strength, and its endurance characteristics were studied. The reliability of its systems and equipment, as well as its ability to carry the entire specified range of goods were also tested.

Flight and engineering personnel from the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ State Scientific Testing Center performed the joint state testing of the airplane jointly with specialists from the Antonov state enterprise.

Based on the results of the tests, launch of serial production of the AN-70 and its adoption by the military have been recommended.

The main objectives of the AN- 70 are:

- facilitating mobile deployment and air-dropping of armed forces in theaters of military operations and redeployment of combat units within and outside combat zones;

- delivering armed forces, armaments, military equipment, and logistical support equipment directly to a combat zone, including short, unpaved runways with lengths 600-800 meters;

- air-dropping armed forces, weapons, military equipment, and logistical support equipment to combat zones;

- evacuating armed forces, armaments, military equipment, the wounded, and the ill from theaters of military operations and directly from combat zones, including from unpaved runways with lengths of 600-800 meters;

- supporting humanitarian operations in zones of regional conflicts, emergencies, and disasters;

- transporting economic cargoes.

The airplane performed 122 flights totaling 220 hours from the completion of its upgrade in September 2012 to 31 March 2014. In total, the aircraft has performed 753 flights totaling 930 hours and 48 minutes.

As reported, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has announced plans to buy two AN-70 aircraft by 2017. The Russian military is also interested in purchasing the Ukrainian aircraft, but the cooperation between the two countries on this project may be terminated following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.